Thomas Weibel04.05.2023The Sack of Rome, or ‘Sacco di Roma’, by the leaderless troops of Charles V on 6 May 1527 ended in a bloodbath that also cost the lives of 147 Swiss guards. Traces of that dark day are still being discovered.
Thomas Weibel25.04.2023The parking meter is the scourge of the hurried motorist, demanding coins they don’t have on them. It was originally designed less as a way to generate revenue and more to ease parking congestion in cities. The first parking meter in Europe was installed in Basel in 1952.
Thomas Weibel23.12.2022"Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel": in the 1973 Czech-German fantasy film, three enchanted hazelnuts make all the heroine’s dreams come true. But even without any magic, the hazelnut is a remarkable fruit.
Thomas Weibel08.11.2022Wilhelm Tell’s crossbow is, so to speak, the national weapon of Switzerland. In actual fact the weapon has its origins in ancient China, and although superior to the bow the crossbow didn’t have the best reputation.
Thomas Weibel27.09.2022The Bundeshaus in Bern, Lucerne’s Kapellbrücke bridge, Geneva’s Jet d’eau: Switzerland has a whole host of landmarks. And yet there’s one of them to which we never give a second thought, even though we see it every day: the Swiss railway station clock.
Thomas Weibel19.07.2022Nicolaus Copernicus is considered one of the founders of modern astronomy. His heliocentric planetary model unleashed an outcry in Reformation circles, especially in Switzerland.
Thomas Weibel04.05.2022Discovered in a museum storeroom, a magnificent portrait of a horseman proves to be witness to a life straight out of an adventure novel: Fribourg mercenary leader Franz Peter König’s wild gallop through the Thirty Years’ War.
Thomas Weibel28.03.2022Birch bark pitch is the oldest all-purpose adhesive in history. Ötzi used birch pitch to affix his arrowheads to the shafts of the arrows; other prehistoric peoples glued broken pottery with birch pitch, or sealed canoes with it. Recently, science has also solved the mystery of how it was produced.